Famous animal expert visits local wildlife centre

The Medicine River Wildlife Centre, near Spruce View, had a special visitor Tuesday. Wildlife expert and TV host Jack Hanna — known for his appearances on TV programs like the Late Show with David Letterman and the Ellen DeGeneres Show — visited the centre as part of a tour around Alberta. Hanna was visiting Alberta to film some episodes for his television show Into the Wild.

Left: Rike Meuss

The Medicine River Wildlife Centre, near Spruce View, had a special visitor Tuesday.

Wildlife expert and TV host Jack Hanna — known for his appearances on TV programs like the Late Show with David Letterman and the Ellen DeGeneres Show — visited the centre as part of a tour around Alberta. Hanna was visiting Alberta to film some episodes for his television show Into the Wild.

“Alberta is one of my favourite places in the world to go to,” Hanna said. He said he is always impressed by the people, the beauty, the mountains, the lakes, the well-manicured fields and the wildlife in Alberta.

While at the Medicine River Wildlife Centre on Tuesday, he filmed the release of two great grey owls that had been rehabilitated at the centre. The television crew also had a chance to tour the site, filming the bald and golden eagles, great horned owls and other birds and creatures that are recovering from their injuries there.

There were more than 200 creatures at the centre at the moment.

Among the birds and animals are a Cooper’s hawk, two Merlin falcons, a northern pygmy owl, other birds of prey and waterfowl, a fawn and even a couple baby beavers.

Carol Kelly, executive director and founder of the Medicine River Wildlife Centre, rehabilitated her first bird in 1984, when a great horned owl was taken into the SPCA in Red Deer. Now staff and volunteers at the centre nurse anywhere from 800 to 1,300 birds and mammals back to health each year.

“Our show is as much about people as it is animals,” Hanna said. “Carol basically dedicated her life to these animals. You can’t go everywhere and find people with this kind of dedication, but thank goodness we have these people.”

Hanna was impressed with Kelly’s knowledge of the birds and animals she helps nurse and that she allows young people to do internships at the centre from places as far away as Germany and Switzerland. Hanna said conservation isn’t possible without education.

Kelly said Hanna’s visit was a break from the ordinary for the staff and it was fun to have somebody with Hanna’s knowledge level come and talk to them.

“This show will go international and so we will reach a wider audience of people who might be interested in getting involved,” Kelly said.

Hanna’s trip was hosted by Travel Alberta. During his time in the province, he has also gotten to visit Waterton Lakes National Park, Banff National Park, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre and the Homeplace Ranch in Kananaskis Country.

The Alberta episodes of Into the Wild are expected to appear on his show in November and December.

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

Child sex offender should get 12 years: Crown prosecutor

Stuart Peter Hunt has pleaded guilty to 10 child sexual exploitation and pornography charges

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

Red Deer-area dads going through divorce are invited to Man Up

Support group formed to focus on positive activities, networking

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

Most Read